EKU announces 4 finalists for Provost

RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky University has announced four finalists to become its next Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.

The finalists are: Dr. Scott Furlong, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay; Dr. Murray W. Nabors, dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Missouri Western State University; Dr. John Omachonu, senior vice provost for Academic Affairs at Kennesaw State University; and Dr. Christa Slaton, of the College of Arts and Sciences at New Mexico State University.

Each finalist will spend a day on the Richmond campus for a series of meetings and forums, according to the following schedule: Omachonu, Monday, April 17; Furlong, Wednesday, April 19; Nabors, Thursday, April 20; and Slaton, Friday, April 21.

The open forums, 1:30-2:30 p.m. each of the scheduled days held in Brock Auditorium, will give members of the campus community the opportunity to meet the finalists and hear their ideas for the academic mission of EKU. Additional information on the candidates and full itineraries for their visits are available at provostsearch.eku.edu/candidates.

Furlong was named dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences in 2016 after serving nine years at Wisconsin-Green Bay as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the title change reflecting an academic reorganization. He joined Wisconsin-Green Bay, a public, comprehensive university with approximately 6,800 students, in 1993 and has also served as chair of its political science and public and environmental affairs departments, and as director of the University’s Introduction to College Program and co-director of its FOCUS program for first-year students. Before entering higher education, Furlong was a program analyst with the Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and an environmental protection specialist with the Environmental Protection Agency. He earned his bachelor’s degree in government from St. Lawrence University, and a master’s of public administration degree and a Ph.D. degree in political science from The American University.

Nabors is in his ninth year as dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Missouri Western, a state-designated applied learning university of 6,000 students in St. Joseph, Mo. He previously served four years as chair of the Department of Biology at the University of Mississippi and four years as head of the Department of Biology at James Madison University in Virginia. While at Ole Miss, he took a year’s leave of absence to teach high school science on the Southern Ute Reservation near Durango, Colorado. He also directed the Honors Program at Colorado State University for 10 years. While at Colorado State, Nabors also was the sole project investigator of a $6.3 million cooperative agreement between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and CSU. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Yale University and a Ph.D. degree in botany from Michigan State University.

Omachonu has served as senior vice provost for academic affairs at Kennesaw State, a public comprehensive university of approximately 34,000, since 2015. In that role, he oversees the Complete College Georgia Act and its three pillars of retention, progression and graduation. He joined Kennesaw in 2004 and served as associate dean of the College of Mass Communication until 2009, including one year as interim dean. Prior to his current role, he also served as vice provost for academic affairs and chief diversity officer at Middle Tennessee State University from 2011 to 2015. Earlier in his career, Omachonu was a professor and administrator at Florida A & M University, Fort Valley State University and William Paterson University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology/zoology, a master’s degree in mass communication, and a Ph.D. degree in mass communication, all from Howard University.

Slaton served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at New Mexico State University, a public, land-grant research university with approximately 18,500 students, from 2010 to 2016. During that time, she also served a year as interim dean of the University’s College of Extended Learning. Prior to joining New Mexico State, Slaton served Auburn University as director of its Master’s in Public Administration Program for two years, director of its Elections Administration Program for eight years, and for three years as associate dean for educational affairs and graduate studies in the College of Liberal Arts. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Tennessee, and her master’s and Ph.D. degrees, both in political science, from the University of Hawaii.